Last Update 20:17
Atheist lawsuit to take 'In God We Trust' off US Currency
Atheist group claim that 'In God We Trust' motto on currency is violation of First Amendment mounting lawsuit against US Treasury Department
Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Mar 2013
Share/Bookmark
Views: 9878
In God We Trust motto
In God We Trust motto (internet)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an American non-profit organisation based in Madison, Wisconsin, along with 19 other plaintiffs, is suing the US Treasury for stamping "In God We Trust" on currency claiming the motto is offensive to non-religious citizens.

FFRF board member Mike Newdow is acting as legal counsel in the suit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on 1 February.

The complaint alleges that the religious statement is proselytising, discriminatory and a per se establishment of monotheism in violation of the Establishment Clause, part of the First Amendment.

The complaint, a tour de force of historical research, unequivocally shows that there was a purely religious purpose and intent behind putting God on our coinage.

Newdow quotes representatives who voted for the addition as seeking to use the money to proselytise around the world.

Rep. Herman P. Eberharter (PA) said: "The American dollar travels all over the world, into every country of the world, and frequently gets behind the Iron Curtain, which symbolised the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991, and if it carries this message I think it would be very good. I think that is one of the most compelling reasons why we should put it on our currency. ... the principles laid down by God and the teachings of our way of life should be kept alive in the hearts and minds of our friends enslaved behind the Iron Curtain."

Plaintiffs are forced to proselytise, by an Act of Congress, for a deity they don't believe in whenever they handle money.

"Our government is prohibited from endorsing one religion over another but also prohibited from endorsing religion over non-religion. The placement of a monotheistic ideal on our nation's currency violates this stricture and is therefore unconstitutional," FFRF Co-President Dan Barker says on the organization's website.

The plaintiffs backing the cause also point out that "In God We Trust" is discriminatory. The motto necessarily excludes atheists and others who don't believe in one god or a god. Because it appears on national currency and states "in God we trust," the phrase necessarily makes full citizenship contingent on the belief provided.

In the words of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, this sends the "message to members of the audience who are non-adherents 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.

As the complaint points out, a "provision discriminating in a similar manner against Jews, Catholics, women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, or any other minority group would... never be tolerated."

This is not the first time that people have taken offense to the presence of this phrase on money. A San Francisco atheist challenged it in 2010, but both of his legal appeals were rejected.

"In God we trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.

"In God we trust" has appeared on most US coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 50 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
6



Steven
19-03-2013 01:07pm
1-
0+
Sodom and Gomorrah
Figuratively speaking: Just need two strangers at the gates and a threat of gang rape to play this one out. Well...not really, there are still more than 10 good people left in the country, but those numbers are dwindling fast.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
5



SecreT
19-03-2013 01:36am
1-
4+
It's about damn time!
I'm not a US citizen (Norwegian), but I'm all in for this! This is too overdue!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
4



Jeff
18-03-2013 11:38pm
1-
0+
Money isn't god anyway
I feel that it need to be taken off anyway. By having "In God We Trust" on money it is essentially worshiping money and calling it God. Or at least it could be interpreted that way by some.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
3



Gandalf Stormcrow
18-03-2013 07:30pm
5-
27+
Wizard
Good. It's about time!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
2



Jack Nelson
18-03-2013 03:08pm
48-
5+
Don't Use the Money fools!
There's a simple solution, just stop using the dollar currency. Move to another Godless country that doesn't say it on their currency and have a nice life!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
qwe
19-03-2013 07:31am
1-
4+
lol
Here's a better solution: they change the currency so it coincides with the constitution!
John
19-03-2013 12:56am
1-
5+
How about you think
This country is founded on the idea that every one is aloud to speak their mind and believe what they want to, not everyone in this country believes in your "one true god" and seeing as the whole reason this country was established was for people to get away from being forced to believe in other peoples deities then its only proper that we not put something so religiously one-sided on a national currency that everyone has to use.
...
19-03-2013 12:21am
4-
0+
That's...
NOT how that stuff works, guys!
1



Farida
18-03-2013 10:51am
38-
5+
There are more important stuff in the world
They are so pathetic!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising